Local Current Blog

Local Radar: Strange Names, Claire De Lune and Nallo

Local Radar highlights bands that the local team at The Current is spinning heavily at their desks. You’ll be able to preview a track from each as well as hear them on The Local Show and Local Current.

Strange Names
Here’s a promising track from local duo Strange Names, one which creates a minimal backdrop for Liam Benzvi’s confident words before slowly building into a rounded orchestration around the minute mark. It’s a good song because it creates moments of major accessibility before tearing down the framework to dare the listener to keep listening. It’s certainly worth your time to stick with it – they’ve opted to meld together many elements of indie music that are popular on their own terms: synth-pop, washed-out vocals, atypical rhythms and psychedelia (to name a few).

The backstory? Benzvi is 21, from Brooklyn, and sings and deals with percussion and keys. His counterpart, Francis Jimenez, is 22, from Minneapolis, sings and plays guitar and bass. They met at the University of Minnesota and currently employ two others for their live acts: Andre Borka and Michael Grothe. “Strange Revelation” is a new single, dropped just days ago on May 20, and you can grab it for free from their Bandcamp. Since I have now listened to this song about 15 times since 7 a.m., I think it’s safe to say they’ve won me over.

Stream: Strange Names – “Strange Revelation” out now

Claire De Lune
Meet the Twin Cities’ newest and brightest vocal talent. To be honest, Claire Taubenhaus has been around for a while collaborating with local musicians like MaLLy and Guante. And now she’s also one third of a certain act we’re loving called The Chalice. Taking cues from Dessa and Aby Wolf, Claire still has her own distinct flavor, one which feels like it would fit snuggly in the ‘30s jazz community of New York City – as an east coast native, she’s definitely captured those influences. But this song also has a healthy dose of southern flair and haziness, something which may be the result of her time spent in Austin (or at least this Texas boy likes to think so).

To top it off, MaLLy’s verse on “Save The Day” doesn’t break up the fluidity that is established from the get-go (you can thank the sax for that one). Instead, he creates one of the best complementary partnerships I’ve heard in a while, giving me hope that these two will keep working together for years to come. She’ll release New Lion at the 7th St. Entry on June 28 and will be joined by Greg Grease, the fabulous K.Raydio, DJ Noam The Drummer and The Tribe & Big Cats!

Stream: Claire De Lune – “Save The Day feat. MaLLy and TruthBeTold” from New Lion out June 26

Nallo has delivered another track from their forthcoming Mechano and The Trees as part of their goal to release a new song each week until the full record goes live on July 10. By that calculation, we still have about a month and a half of singles left to enjoy, and I can’t wait to see what is unleashed next. I wrote about their first one “Different” on a Local Radar a few weeks back, calling it a piece of garage pop perfection. While veering on hyperbole, I really believe in that statement, and “Beasts and Cartoons (Rope and Sand)” fits within this declaration as well. It harnesses a non-traditional tempo against what garage rock has come to be known for, instead utilizing a sort of lilting texture that ends up in a gorgeous crescendo during the last minute. Turn the volume up and let ‘er rip. They play May 31 at the Triple Rock.

Note: The band also just released a third track from the album called “Moth.”

Stream: Nallo – “Beasts and Cartoons (Rope and Sand)” from Mechano and The Trees out July 10